With an aim to provide psycho- social support and counselling to students for their mental health and well- being, the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched ‘Manodarpan’ initiative on Tuesday, July 21. Under this initiative, the minister launched a toll-free national helpline number – 8448440632, a website of Manodarpan and a handbook on 21st century life skills, for the students of school, college and universities.
Those who need psycho-social assistance or counselling can visit the official website of Manodarpan – manodarpan.mhrd.gov.in or call on the helpline number - 8448440632.
Manodarpan comprise of the following components:
1. Advisory guidelines
2. Web page
3. National level database and directory of counsellors
4. National Toll-free helpline number
5. Interactive online chat option
Manodarpan is an initiative under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the month of May. Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharam had on May 17 announced about the Manodarpan initiative while addressing a press conference to announce the fourth tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package.
“Many students required psychological support because lockdown was new to them. They were stressed because of this. Manodarpan will provide assistance to the students, teachers and parents,” the finance minister had said.
Speaking in the launch event, the HRD minister said, “COVID -19 is understandably a challenging time for everyone around the world. This global pandemic is not only a serious medical concern but also brings mixed emotions and psycho-social stress for all. With a specific focus on children and adolescents, there are emerging mental health concerns that are often reported in such situations. Children and adolescents may be more vulnerable and may experience a heightened level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness, along with a range of other emotional and behavioural issues,”
“HRD Ministry has felt that while it is important to focus on continuing education on the academic front, the mental well-being of the students also needs to be given equal importance,” the minister added.
A working group, comprising of experts from the fields of education, mental health and psychosocial issues, has been set up to monitor and promote the mental health issues and concerns of students and to facilitate providing of support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects during and after COVID-19 lockdown, through counselling services, online resources and helpline.
The author tweets @ NandiniJourno